Genera and Brafrika participate in an initiative with the Embassy of Ghana at the Carnival of Salvador.
Genera and Brafrika Viagens will be present at the Casa de Gana VIP Lounge, an event taking place in the Pelourinho neighborhood during the Carnival of Salvador from February 9th to 13th. The schedule will be filled with artistic and cultural activities that connect the African country and the capital of Bahia.
The event is invitation-only, but there will be a limited number of tickets available each day for the general public.
Immersion in the history and culture of Ghana An unprecedented initiative in Brazil, the Casa de Gana VIP Lounge is part of the Salvador Carnival program and aims to be a space for immersion in the history and culture of Ghana, promoting the rediscovery of ancestry and historical connections with the African country.
As a hub for cultural exchange between the diversity of Ghana and Brazil, the Casa de Gana VIP Lounge will feature Ghanaian artists, entrepreneurs, leaders, and authorities, providing the public with an immersive experience in the rich Ghanaian culture, including art, history, gastronomy, fashion, crafts, music, dance, and more. The event also facilitates the meeting of Ghanaian artists with Afro-centric groups such as Olodum and Muzenza.
The Carnival in Salvador shares many similarities with some festivals and ceremonies in Ghana, highlighted by Abena P. Busia, Ghana's ambassador to Brazil. "The percussive music, the costumes, the parades in Afro-centered groups – all of this is familiar to us. Bahia has a lot of Africa, especially characteristics of Ghana, so it's exciting to make this exchange."
The Casa de Gana VIP Lounge is an initiative organized and promoted by the Embassy of Ghana in Brazil and the Ministry of Tourism, Arts, and Culture of Ghana, in partnership with Vale do Dendê and BRAGH, with the support of the Salvador City Hall.
The event takes place at Casa de Gana, a cultural space located on Rua das Laranjeiras, in the Pelourinho neighborhood, from February 9th to 13th, 2024, starting at 2:00 PM.
About Casa de Gana
Casa de Gana was inaugurated in Salvador, the Afro capital of Brazil, in November 2023, with the intention of becoming a permanent cultural center for exchange between Ghana and Brazil. In addition to open public programs, it offers a space to strengthen connections between the two countries. The project is an initiative of the partnership between the Embassy of Ghana in Brazil, Salvador City Hall, and the Government of the State of Bahia.
Currently located in the Pelourinho neighborhood at Casa Vale do Dendê, the headquarters of the social impact and innovation organization Vale do Dendê, the goal is for Casa de Gana to have a permanent location in the historic center of Salvador, the Afro capital of Brazil.
For Ghana's ambassador, Abena Busia, the Casa de Gana VIP Lounge is another initiative aimed at encouraging the establishment of a permanent space in Salvador. "Entrepreneurs, artists, and producers are coming from Ghana to get to know Salvador and strengthen cultural, tourist, and commercial ties between Ghana and Brazil," she states.
Relations between Ghana and Brazil
Ghana is a country of rich ethnic and cultural diversity located on the west coast of Africa, specifically in the Gold Coast region. Its diversity is reflected in traditions, languages, and cultural expressions such as music, dance, and crafts. It is one of the world's largest producers of gold and is also prominent in bauxite, diamond, and manganese extraction.
The country gained independence in March 1957, becoming an inspiration to other African nations. In the same month of independence, it was admitted as a UN member state. From 1997 to 2006, Ghanaian diplomat Kofi Annan served as the UN Secretary-General, the first black African to hold the most important diplomatic position in the world.
Diplomatic relations between Ghana and Brazil began in 1960. Brazil established its embassy in Accra, the capital of Ghana, becoming the first in Sub-Saharan Africa. On the other hand, Ghana's embassy in Brazil is the only one in South America.
Between the 1960s and 1970s, relations between the two countries were marked by a common agenda, focusing mainly on condemning apartheid and the self-determination of peoples, among other topics. In the 1980s, Ghana co-sponsored the resolution project presented by Brazil at the UN for the creation of the South Atlantic Peace and Cooperation Zone (ZOPACAS).
Bilateral relations have gained new momentum, and since the 2000s, there has been an intense exchange of visits by high authorities between the two countries.
Ghana has been an important partner for Brazil in West Africa, reflected in the intensification of political dialogue, bilateral trade, and technical cooperation.
Ghana in the Ancestry of Brazilians
Despite this, the relationship between the two countries and their historical connection is much older.
A significant number of enslaved Africans sent to Brazil belonged to the West African coast. The Gold Coast, which includes Ghana, is the most representative African region in the DNA of Brazilians, according to a survey conducted by Genera.
Africans who were repatriated and returned to Ghana are still called "Tabom," referring to the Portuguese expression "tá bom." The Tabom brought influences from Brazilian culture and were responsible for building the first two-story house in Accra, an architectural style known as the Brazil house.
And with Bahia, this ancestral relationship becomes even more special. Of all the enslaved Africans brought to Brazil, one-third landed in Bahia—more than one million and three hundred and forty thousand people. This is reflected in Bahia's DNA: 23.05% of the DNA of the Bahian people comes from Africa.
Genera and Brafrika: DNAfro at the Salvador's Carnival
In addition to all the attractions at the Casa de Gana VIP Lounge, there is a more than special presence: Genera and Brafrika present DNAfro.
DNAfro is a special genetic panel, developed in partnership by Genera, Brafrika Viagens, and geneticist Verena Silva Santos. It was carefully designed to provide health data specifically from the perspective of the Black population. It represents an important step in understanding the Brazilian population as a whole.
The Genera ancestry, health, and well-being test, along with the DNAfro Panel, will be available for purchase at a promotional price throughout the Casa de Gana VIP Lounge program. The kit's box also features special packaging with a beautiful artwork created by visual artist Bia Foratori exclusively for DNAfro.
In addition to genetic well-being and health reports, with the Genera + Brafrika genetic test, people can unravel their ancestral origins and discover how many Africas exist in their DNA.
"By taking the DNAfro test, you open the possibility to celebrate your ancestry, being able to say which Africa lives in you. Additionally, we create sensory experiences that provide a greater understanding of your ancestry through food, music, and aesthetic references," says Bia Moremi, founder of Brafrika Viagens.
Don't miss out: Genera and Brafrika Viagens will be present at the Casa de Gana VIP Lounge, an event taking place in the Pelourinho neighborhood during the Carnival of Salvador from February 9th to 13th. The event is invitation-only, but there will be a limited number of tickets available each day for the general public. Tickets are available at this link.
Text by GENERA.